Thursday, December 31, 2015


This is coolbert:

Courtesy the BBC History Magazine and as extracted from an interview with Professor Mary Beard. That subject the ancient Roman Republic and the military prowess of same.


"Beard studied at Newnham College, University of Cambridge, and has been professor of classics at Cambridge since 2004."

Q: "How did the Roman republic come to achieve such military success?"

A: "There are few simple answers to that - - and a few that are definitely wrong"

A: "It's convenient for us to think about the Romans as somehow more committed to warfare than the poor people around them . . . The Romans were nasty thugs - - but so was everyone else. And Romans didn't employ better tactics than others - - whatever 'tactics' were in the early republic - - nor did they have better hardware."

A: "Instead, I think their success came from their system of citizenship . . . It didn't defeat everybody, but when it did it formed alliances and links of citizenship. So as Rome expanded, its relationships with the people around it yielded overwhelming resources and manpower - - factors that won wars in the ancient world."

My understanding [as limited as it is] of ancient Rome [that republican period in particular] is the Romans were more than others around them able to institutionalize their military in a way others around them were not. The Romans were more regimented and methodical about their approach to warfare than adversaries or potential adversaries.

Units of the Roman army having a standard organization [TO and E] a standard battle kit and weaponry, standard doctrine and tactics, a standing military force with a common regimen of training, and commanders adhering to regulations for battle and combat as enunciated and made written policy with various degrees of punishment for those violating the "rules".

The Romans also not deterred by defeat but rather had an amazing perseverance about them.


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